Ask Yourself: What Kind of Sex Do I Want?
Even though sex gets talked about like it’s a consumer product, something that is replicable (a blow job is a blow job is a blow job), it isn’t. Sex isn’t just a series of physical movements.
It’s an experience, and every time it happens, you experience it a little bit differently.
Wishing for better sex, without really thinking about what that means to you, isn’t going to get you anywhere. And while we’re at it, thinking that your sex life would be better if only you did sexual activity X more often, is also a waste of time (every sex act, when repeated too often will get old).
There are a few problems with trying to answer this question with a list of sexual activities. First, there are always sexual activities you haven’t thought of or haven’t tried, it’s hard to know what you want without knowing all the options. Second, a particular activity may seem desirable, but it just might not give you the experience you want.
Instead of thinking about the things you want to do more often, think about what it is you want to feel either more often or more intensely, when having sex.
Is it You, or Them, or Everyone?
So much of what we come to love about sex we only learn through experimentation, risk taking, and opening up to our own desires. These things are hard to do unless we feel some measure of safety and comfort with our partner.
Which is why having more of the sex you want often means finding the sexual partners you deserve.
Sometimes our partners are just bad news. They don’t really care about us (or they do, but they aren’t able to follow through). They can be verbally, emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive. Many of us find ourselves in relationships like this and hopefully we eventually get out.
Sometimes our partners are just bad news for us. They aren’t abusive, they are capable of caring, but we’re the wrong fit.
Sometimes things are working but they could be.
It’s possible for a website (or best friend) to point out when you’re in that first kind of relationship. But there’s no way for an outsider to let you know for sure if your relationship falls into the second or third category.
But if you want more of the sex you want, and you want it with someone else, and it isn’t working, you may have to give some thought to whether or not what’s getting in the way isn’t just fear or shame about sex, but a relationship that isn’t letting you grow the way you want to.
Ask for It
I’ve spoken with thousands of people about their sex lives, and one generalization I feel pretty comfortable making is that straight people are really bad at asking for sex. It’s not that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and others are experts at it, but part of the sexual script for straight people is that sex is just supposed to happen.
A straight man just coming out and asking a woman for the sex he wants is either thought of as creepy or desperate. And a straight woman asking a man for the sex she wants is a slut. This of course says more about what our society thinks about sex than who we are, but here’s the problem: if you don’t ask for what you want, you are leaving your sex life up to fate.
Expecting a sexual partner, particularly a new partner, to just know what it is you like sexually is the same as expecting them to choose a restaurant to eat at without knowing that you’re a vegan with celiac disease. Maybe they’ll get it right, but maybe they won’t.
There’s no one way to ask for the sex affair you want. You need to find the language and approach that feels genuine. But one thing is always true, asking for it will feel uncomfortable because you are taking a risk.
Be Ready to Reciprocate
Unless the sex you want more of is masturbation, you need to think about the wants and needs of the other people involved in the sex you want more of. Getting more of the sex you want has to include hearing from the people you want to have sex with about what they want more of.
Sex always involves negotiation, that’s not a bad thing, and I’m not talking here about being willing to do things you don’t want to do so that you can get what you want later. Great sex, even good enough sex, should at minimum be sex you want to have.
Reciprocity in the movies and television usually involves someone giving someone else oral sex so they can get it. The problem with the Hollywood version is that one, or both, people are complaining about it. That’s not reciprocity as much as a sexual relationship version of mutual assured destruction.
Reciprocity doesn’t have to mean you do the same things to each other. If you want more massages and your partner wants more nipple stimulation, you can probably work something out. What is most important is that you are open to the idea that it’s possible and desirable for you both to get more of what you want, and you’re willing to put in the effort to get there.
Make Your Own Fun
There are many variations on the theory that if you want to attract something you have to put it out in the world. If there’s any truth to the idea, it should hold in our sex lives too. If you are waiting around for someone else to come into your life and hand you more of everything you want sexually, you are waiting for a fairytale ending to a real story.
Luckily for most of us, we have easy access to better sex. With ourselves. This isn’t equally true for all of us, but each of us can do things to bring more love, eroticism, taboo, and pleasure into our sex lives.
Through self-touch, through fantasy, through erotic writing, there are countless outlets for us to grow the sexual energy in our lives, and make our own fun. There’s no Oprah style suggestion that if you live your best sexual life great things will happen (since our sex lives are part of our entire lives, and none of us are really in control of that). But making your own fun while waiting for someone else to join in certainly can’t hurt. So get going!